Visit Marrakech on foot

Visit Marrakech on foot

Huge medieval city of the Maghreb, Marrakech is now a tourist destination of choice. The city enjoys a warm and dry climate, which is favorable for walking tours. Still nicknamed the Pearl of the South, Marrakech is surrounded by countless palm groves and the minaret of Koutoubia. The open-air markets, the palaces, the mosques, the avenues of the modern city, the walls … Marrakech is full of places to discover!

Mosques and palaces: places not to be missed!

palace marrakech

From the place where one stays, one goes to the discovery of the Pearl of the South and to understand its nuggets. We can start the tour by visiting the emblem of Marrakech, which is the most known and most visible, namely Koutoubia. Recognizable by its minaret that dominates the entire city, the Koutoubia Mosque is a real compass allowing tourists to find their way in the heart of the city.

The Bahia Palace is also worth a visit. Built in a beautiful two-hectare garden at the end of the 19th century, it is an arrangement of luxury apartments with views of the inner courtyards. In this palace, one can visit the favorite apartments of the sultan, the central courtyard made of marble paved with fountains and zelliges and the council room adorned with a mosaic decoration. It is important to know that about a thousand craftsmen from Fez have participated in the construction of the Bahia Palace.

Do not miss the discovery of the famous Saadian tombs. It is a mausoleum that remains a real wealth of Marrakech.

A stroll in the heart of the Jemaa El Fna square

The lively Jemaa El Fna Square is an ideal place to enjoy a delicious tea and savor Moroccan culinary specialties. Various shows are also offered by popular artists, musicians, storytellers and acrobats to please young and old. As night falls, the famous Jemaa El Fna Square is transformed into a large storeroom where everyone takes dinner under an open sky.

The gardens of Menara

gardens of the menara

Located at the base of the Atlas, Menara gardens are a perfect place to get closer to nature. This area has an area of ​​62 hectares and is composed of trees and a huge lake fed by different irrigation channels. The snowy peaks can be easily seen from a pavilion at the edge of the water.

A walk in the Medina

During a walking tour in the city of Marrakech, do not forget to explore the open-air markets or the colorful souks located in the labyrinth of the Medina. These souks are among the most famous in Morocco and there are very varied goods, but also craftsmen highlighting their traditional art. Among the handicrafts presented are wood paneling, jewelery, spices, carpets and kaftans. To all this are added forges, slippers and pottery and various objects made of brass, leather and iron.

Classified as world heritage of humanity in 1985, the Medina of Marrakech still retains its architecture of the 11th century. Moreover, it is still surrounded by walls eight meters high. Note that it is in the Medina that is the El Mansour mosque characterized by its minaret visible from afar.

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A DAY TO STROLL THROUGH MARRAKECH – VISITS AND ADDRESSES TO REMEMBER

I dedicate my last day in Marrakech to cultural visits, and especially to fill up the sun and fill me with all the good energy offered by the imperial city. The group of Spaniards I met the day before during my trip to the Ourika Valley, meet me in the morning in front of their Riad to share this day with them. The opportunity to get to know each other😉

The Majorelle garden

We start the day by visiting the very famous Majorelle garden. This one is located outside the ramparts, and even if all the turn the scenery does not pay mine, it is in a true small oasis city which we penetrate. At 10 o’clock in the morning, there is already a lot of people, it would have been more judicious to come to the opening, and the morning light would have sublimated the lush garden … only here, we are a little on vacation … Must make choices. I was quite surprised by the small size of the garden, but to walk in the middle of these colors, this imposing blue villa in the middle of its exotic plants, it’s a little like a dream, no wonder this place has inspired so many artists.

Price: Garden – 70 Dhs / Museum – 30 Dhs 
1st October to 30th April: 8h to 17h30 
1st May to 30th September: 8h to 18h 
Ramadan Month: 9h to 17h

For a complete and guided tour of the gardens of Marrakech good plan here

As I always say, a little history allows us to better appreciate the visits:

  • 1919: The artist Jacques Majorelle settles in Morocco with his wife for health reasons.
  • 1923: He buys land at the edge of the palm grove of Marrakech.
  • 1931: Cubist architect Paul Sinoir builds the famous villa. Around his home, Jacques, passionate about botany, developed a lush garden.
  • 1937: Jacques Majorelle introduces the bright and primary colors, on the villa and in the garden.
  • 1947: The artist opens the garden to the public for an entrance fee, to help him maintain his garden.
  • 1955 – 1961: two serious accidents handicap the man to the point of putting him in a difficult financial situation. He sold his property before dying in France in 1962.
  • 1966: Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé discover the garden during a trip to Morocco and fall in love.
  • 1980: They buy the property while it will be destroyed to make it a hotel. They live in the villa, which they call Villa Oasis. They both maintain this place to continue the work of Jaques.
  • From 1999 to today: 135 species of plants are planted, the painter’s studio is transformed into a Berber Museum,
  • 2008: When YSL dies, his ashes are distributed in the garden memorial.

Lunch on the rooftop terraces, in the souks of Marrakech

Enjoy the sun on one of the roof terraces of the souks, and a good lunch to relax a little. We chose the Nomad which is located on the place of spices, in the heart of the medina, in front of the coffee of spices. I loved this restaurant, which has a great view of the spice square, and the roofs of the media, the decor is clean, the atmosphere is cool and the staff very friendly. The dishes are refined, you will have the choice. I chose a grilled seabream that came straight from Essaouira, did not ask me how it did to arrive on my plate, but accompanied by vegetables of the sun, and some spices, I took the time to enjoy it with my little glass of white, and especially I took the time to enjoy the moment.

  • Count about twenty euros for a dish and a glass of wine, it’s a little more expensive than in the street, but it’s worth the detour.

Then we went to get our coffee, bin … at the spice cafe to be there … and if you like coffee like me, try the spicy coffee (espresso) it’s delicious!

The Saadian Tombs

We walk to the other side of the city, through the souks and narrow streets to join one of the happy Marrakech. I did not know what to expect, having not prepared too much for my visits. Arrival on the site, the surprise could only be good. I discovered a merry architectural dating from the Saadie dynasty, ie 1578-1603. Luckily by visiting the first room, I come across a group of French, one of those men knew perfectly the history of this monument (among others) … I take this opportunity to let my ears hang out, happy to share his knowledge, he gives me more details.

These tombs were discovered and restored at the beginning of the 20th century, but they were built in the 17th century, look at the ceiling, he tells me, it’s exotic wood carved like lace, and the mosaics on the walls and the floors, look how beautiful! There are about sixty tombs here, it is the family of the Sultan, the Sultan and other Saadians who are buried there.

Wow … the slap …

  • GOOD MAP: all walk full of Marrakech, guided tour

The little tourist ride in a carriage! We are talking about it?

At the exit of the tombs, our soles were well worn, the poor. We let ourselves be caught in the game of negotiation for a carriage ride and join the Jamaa El Fna square. Announced at 250 Dirham (25 euros) will be finally 150 Dirham, but I think that my tank top is for many. But Spanish friends climb to the back, while the driver invites me in front with him. Well, I can tell you that he took good advantage of the rascal, if he could put his nose in my ass he would have done … In short course, I put my headscarf. No, but ooooh !!! It’s mine!

Last shopping in the souks, and sunset on the terrace of spices.

We stroll one last time in the souks before going to have a drink on the terrace of spices and enjoy the sunset. This is not the best spot for sunset, prefer this place for lunch. I think the view is better at the Nomad or the Spice Cafe. I still managed to make some nice shots of this moment of relaxation under an orange sky. We sip a good fruit juice until nightfall, before going to dinner in Jamaa El Fna square.

This is the end of this first trip on a solo trip to Marrakech. I leave inflated to block, the heart filled with beautiful landscapes and beautiful encounters. A new project is taking shape in my head, to make discover this place to Carole, and why not a road-trip in all Morocco ??!

Travel to Istanbul to discover Turkey

With an area of ​​780 000 km², almost one and a half times that of France, Turkey offers a wide choice of tourist sites to visit. Whether it is the bustling and relaxing shores of the Black Sea or the Aegean Sea, the lunar landscapes of Cappadocia, or the traditional villages of Anatolia, the Turkish territory offers visitors many opportunities for travel.

However, Istanbul, with its history, its monuments, its geography and its unique atmosphere, is undoubtedly the place to go for any traveler wishing to start discovering Turkey.

Istanbul

Why choose Istanbul as your first visit to Turkey?

Istanbul is certainly not the capital of the Republic of Turkey, it being Ankara, yet it is the economic and cultural capital of the country. With 15 million inhabitants, Istanbul is by far the most populous and dynamic city in Turkey. Its area of ​​more than 5000 km² is equivalent to that of the department of Calvados for example. Formerly known as Byzantium and then Constantinople, Istanbul is filled with major historical memories for the Ottoman Empire and then for Turkey. All this is felt when visiting the city and its monuments, especially through the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and the Archaeological Museum.

In addition to these historic sites, a stay in Istanbul will also allow each new visitor to Turkey to make the most of Turkish gastronomy. With its many restaurants, street vendors and markets, such as the Egyptian Bazaar, Istanbul offers every novice in Turkish cuisine a taste of a wide variety of culinary specialties. For example, cold and hot starters make up the meze, as well as the different kinds of meat known as kebab, and succulent desserts such as baklava.

It should not be forgotten either that a first trip to Turkey is more easily organized starting with Istanbul. Indeed, many flights leave daily for Istanbul from the French airports, such as the airports of Paris, Lyon and Toulouse. The airlines directly serving this city are Air France, Turkish Airlines, as well as the low-cost companies Pegasus and Onur Air for example. Thanks to the many Istanbul-based tourist guides and a wide range of affordable hotels for all budgets, organizing your stay in Istanbul is relatively easy compared to other destinations in Turkey.

To prepare your trip to Turkey, you can find on the internet a lot of travel blog to find tips, advice, good addresses and tips to prepare your trip and make the most of your stay in Turkey. Tourism in Turkey is growing and content on the internet too!

Due to its exceptional geographical position, Istanbul is the only city in the world between two continents, Europe and Asia, with the Bosphorus as a separating element. The view and the crossing of the Bosphorus are also inseparable and magnificent markers of any visit to Istanbul.

Istanbul is the city of Turkey to discover first before traveling to the four corners of the country. His visit allows the traveler to become acquainted with major elements of Turkish daily life such as his cuisine, his traditions and his history. In addition, Istanbul has such a diversity of neighborhoods, landscapes and people that staying there will not stop surprising you. So do not hesitate to choose Istanbul as the first destination if you have not yet had the opportunity to visit Turkey, you will not regret it!

Where To Sleep in Marrakech

Marrakesh is full of hotels and riads all more magnificent than the others … As to say that one wonders quickly where to sleep in Marrakech face this impressive choice in hotels and riads in the red city!

In this guide on choosing the best hotel in Marrakech, we will first discuss the area to choose to sleep in Marrakech: Medina, Gueliz, wintering or Palmeraie. How to choose the neighborhood where to stay in Marrakech?

We will also discuss the type of accommodation: hotel or riad? These 2 types of accommodation offer different experiences.

Finally, to close this guide dedicated to the choice of its hotel in Marrakech, I will end by sharing my best addresses of hotels and riads in Marrakech, with different budgets of course. If you are wondering where to stay in Marrakech, you should have the answer at the end of this post!

Where to sleep in Marrakech?

In order to answer this question that arises when preparing your trip to Marrakech, several elements must be taken into account. We will evoke them as and when this ticket. Here are the key points to consider and questions to ask where to stay in Marrakech:
opt for a rather modern hotel (with pool, spa, gym, …) or for a riad (traditional house of the old Moroccan cities)
which district to choose to sleep in Marrakech: the medina for a riad or other parts of Marrakech like Gueliz, Hivernage or the palm grove of Marrakech
set your budget per night for a double room
In the rest of this post, we will discuss these different themes so that you can choose your hotel in Marrakech.

Once the choice of your hotel or riad made and you know where to stay in Marrakech, you must make your reservation online.

In Which Neighborhood Sleeping In Marrakech?

4 main options available to you regarding the districts to sleep in Marrakech:

the medina of Marrakech which is the old city (labyrinth of alleys where one finds the souk but also the traditional houses called riad or dar)
the district of Guéliz built by the French during the protectorate (more modern city with many restaurants, cafes and shops)
the district of Hivernage (south of Guéliz, southwest of the medina) where we find many luxury hotels
the palm grove of Marrakech, located north of the city
The plan below makes it possible to locate the different districts of Marrakech. With the exception of the palm grove which is located much further north, about ten kilometers from the center of Marrakech.

Marrakech-map

A Hotel In The Palm Grove Of Marrakech?

Let’s start with the palm grove of Marrakech. It is really away from the city. There are many resort type hotels with dozens of services, one or more pools per hotel. It is also a famous (and controversial) place for golf.
On the other hand, it is far from the city. Sleeping in the palm grove of Marrakech will force you to make trips by taxi (or shuttle offered by the hotel) as soon as you want to go to Marrakech.

In my opinion, you should avoid sleeping in this area of ​​Marrakech unless you go to Marrakech all inclusive, for idleness. If you plan to visit Marrakech on a day and enjoy your hotel the rest of the time why not. But if you plan to go to Marrakech or its surroundings every day during your stay in Marrakech, avoid sleeping in the palm grove of Marrakech.

Gueliz, Wintering Or Marrakech Medina: Where to sleep?

You will understand, if you go to Marrakech to visit the city, I recommend choosing a hotel in one of these areas.
If you want to stay in a riad or dar (riad and smaller), it is to the medina (old town) that will turn you. It is in the labyrinth of alleys of the medina that one finds the old and traditional houses which, for some, now serve as hotels or guesthouse / bed and breakfast.

In the district of Guéliz in Marrakech, there are more affordable hotels (although the medina also has small dar / riad cheap). These are more classic hotels, unlike riads in the medina.

In the district of Hivernage, the prices climb more and there are very nice hotels / palaces with swimming pool, … You will see in the following of this ticket with some hotels that I recommend to Marrakesh in Hivernage.

Finally, you will also find other neighborhood names that are either small parts of another neighborhood or neighborhoods where there are fewer hotels. I think in particular Majorelle near Guéliz, the Mellah (old Jewish quarter, south of the medina) also well placed or the slightly out of town Agdal, south of the city.

Where to sleep in Marrakech to have fun!

Here are two excellent hotels to stay in Marrakech to visit the city but also to enjoy the services of the hotel and relax. These are in my opinion the best hotels / riads to stay in Marrakech on a trip!

After choosing your type of accommodation, riad or hotel, as well as the area of ​​your hotel in Marrakech, you should easily be able to book in one of the best addresses in Marrakech

Le Vizir Center Park Resort Located in Marrakech, The Vizier Center Park & ​​Resort offers suites decorated in 3 different styles of architecture, specifically designed to make your stay pleasant and memorable moments.

Riad origines A few steps from Jemâa El Fna, between the Medina and Guéliz, Riad origines stands in the heart of the Medina, upscale neighborhood of Marrakech and providential resort where time passes, seems to offer a parenthesis.
A discreet address where calm tames the refinement in the freshness of lush gardens

Where to have fun in Marrakech?

Marrakech is located less than three hours by plane from all major European capitals. Travelers from all over the world are very likely to want to spend a few days of vacation to relax and enjoy all the assets of this exceptional city.

The city of Marrakech has many assets such as a mild climate throughout the year with peaks of heat in summer and a winter often soft and dry. The ocher city is a welcoming, pleasant, cosmopolitan city that offers a wide range of activities and entertainment for the whole family. A small panorama of leisure activities is essential for your next vacation!

During family vacations, it is often difficult to satisfy the expectations of everyone. Children are not addicted to cultural visits and parents do not want to spend hours completely by the pool. Here are some good places to link the discovery of Marrakech and have fun with your family during your next vacation.

Lands of Amanar

In a natural and pleasant area just a few kilometers from Marrakech, you can link the useful to the pleasant by spending a day at Terres d’Amanar. On the program for young and old, zip lines, several courses of tree climbing, climbing, archery, craft workshops, adventure horse and junior area. Rates vary depending on the activity and the desired courses.

Palooza Land

Palooza Land is the last place of entertainment for the whole family that has opened in Marrakech. The park opened on December 23rd. More than 24,000 square meters for family fun, 30 attractions from 8 to 40 dhs and admission to 12 dhs per person during the week and 15 dhs on weekends. In addition to the attractions and beautiful articulated dinosaurs, the park also has a swimming pool with water games and a space to eat or have a coffee.

Kidzo by Menara Mall

Another style and atmosphere, the Kidzo by Menara Mall located in the district of Hivernage close to the Menara and the Medina. While going to discover the Menara and its basin, please the children with a stop at the space Kidzo. Games galore to relax, discover and have fun for young and old. To access the games, you have to take a card. This card allows you to pay for the attractions and earn points to collect your prize at the exit. A dining area is planned on the same level with a terrace and a magnificent view of Marrakech.

L’Aqua Mirage Club

The Aqua Mirage Club Marrakech stretches over 20 hectares of nature at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. The area has its giant Aqua Park for children as for fans of thrills, a wide range of entertainment, diverse areas of dining and rooms dedicated to the organization of meetings and seminars. The Aqua Club Mirage All Inclusive Marrakech is the perfect place to combine accommodation, recreation and business. At the entrance area, withdrawal from activities, the property features 4 meeting rooms, fully equipped and flexible to meet all needs in terms of capacity.

The riders of the Atlas

Horse and horse lovers will be seduced by this activity. You will leave for a day or half-day on the trails to discover the surroundings of Marrakech. A playful and ecological activity for the whole family supervised by professionals of the sector.

Happy holidays in Marrakech with the family .

Only in Marrakech Do’s and Don’ts

Do’s

  1. Agree the taxi fare before entering a petit taxi. You can normally get anywhere in Marrakech for under 50 dh or try just getting in and stating your destination with no discussion. You may get a surprise and he will use the meter. If he does give a couple of Dirhams as a reward!

 

  1. Barter hard when buying from the souks. A half to quarter of the offered price and work your way up. Sellers feel it when you are in love with the item. Around the corner you will find the same one, so walk away, it may help to get the price down.
  1. When you agree to a price, for example for a henna tattoo, have it written down in dirhams first. You will not be the first one they tell afterwards that you did not understand them correctly.
  1. Visit Majorelle Gardens a great calm retreat, early morning or late afternoon is best to avoid the tour bus groups.
  1. Visit Saadian tombs but decline the offer of a tour guide. There isn’t a lot to see and often a 10/20 minute queue to see the main room.
  1. Visit El Badi Palace and see the storks.
  1. Watch the main square come alive from a rooftop restaurant.
  1. Eat from an outside market stall (prices are cheap and food is superb) Eat with your hands, the cutlery is rinsed between clients.
  1. Visit the Cyber Park Arsat Moulay Abdel Salam, it is free and far bigger than the Majorelle Gardens and peaceful.
  1. Visit the Ben Ali Yusuf Madrasa and Museum.

Dont’s

  1. Buy water from the main square. Supermarkets are often cheaper. A five litre bottle of mineral water is 10 Dirhams as of 2016 at the Carrefour Market store, about 20 minutes walk from the square. There is a large supermarket called Aswak Assalam a short walk from the bus station, which is large and full of interesting items.
  1. Take pictures of snakes/ monkeys/ dancers/watersellers, unless you are prepared to pay.
  2. Don’t forget a map of the city it can be invaluable. Most streets are not named so a map with landmarks and hotels or riad like Riad Aliya is very useful.
  1. Worry about access to money as there are plenty of cashpoints scattered around the city.
  2. Forget to book a taxi transfer to your Riad . It would be very difficult to find if your coach/bus airport transfer dropped you off at the main square.
  1. Do not forget sensible shoes or trainers. The streets in the Medina are cobbled and hard on your feet. When it rains it can get muddy in certain places. Sandals are not recommended, apart from perhaps in the New Town.
  2. Don’t forget to pack a small torch to navigate the less well lit lanes of the medina at night and always carry low value notes for tips.

Listed here are the most popular attractions & day trips from Marrakech.

Essaouira on the Atlantic coast is about 2 hours drive. It can also be reached by Supratours (office next to rail station) coaches for 75Dh one way, buy the return ticket when you arrive. Alternatively, CTM buses operate a day return ticket for about 150 Dirham. See separate article on Essaouira entitled “Essaouira – a great retreat”.

Ourika Valley is situated in an area close to Marrakech. The area includes the village of Setti Fatma, which has small waterfall . You can reach by walking uphill along a small path. A local guide is probably advisable with the more hazardous sections of the clmb. Has become very touristy over the years with both Moroccans, especially from Marrakech, and foreign visitors.

Despite scorching heat, dubai Desert hotels are the hottest pick in summer

dubai Desert hotels

In stifling summer, sitting in a chilled room when the outside temperature is touching its peak, trailing out to the desert might be the last thing in your mind to do as a tourist in Dubai. However, there are some holidaymakers in the Emirates, who are proving you wrong as desert trekking trend is getting popular. With more and more travellers marching towards deserts, desert hotels are enjoying a bustling trade.

The peak summer months always remain hectic for desert hotels’ management because people hardly visit deserts in scorching heat. However, 2017 summer was exceptional during which occupancy rate remained above 70 percent in most of the hotels. According to a spokesperson of one of the most popular desert hotels the management was amused to see the guests checking in its hotel as the mounting desert temperature did not stop the tourists and travellers visiting there.

In June, a tough competition was seen between the top notch restaurants as most of the international hotel operators have launched their desert hotels in Emirates. Almost half a dozen hotels are marketed as desert gateways in the Emirates. Gone are the days when the travellers were just familiar with “Al Maha” as a desert resort but now few other names have also added in the priority list like Qasr Al Sarab in the Liwa desert and Banyan Tree in Ras Al Khaimah.

Few other hotels are also in the list that will be opened shortly and they are planned in the unique setting of the Al Gharbia desert area of Abu Dhabi. Certainly, the hotels are planned after seeing the increasing demand of desert restaurants. Experts predict a tough competition in Abu Dhabi due to huge growth in the number of hotels in the capital. According to a report, about 6,700 hotel rooms will be added in the streamline by the end of 2014 whereas 14,700 rooms are already available.

Despite the facts and figures, desert hotels are confident that they can attract local and international visitors due to their exceptional setting. Local travellers are preferably targeted because they visited desert in larger numbers this year.